Sandown & Shanklin Overcome Ventnor after
slow start in a local derby.
The mighty Hurricanes 2nd XV made the short away trip to Ventnor RFC for the only derby game of the season for Sandown & Shanklin.
It was a cold and blustery day, yet the game started at the fast and ferocious pace which resulted in a very frantic start from the visitors, as they gave away early infringements yielding field position to the hosts. Ventnor capitalised on the territory and using their bigger forwards, recycled possession well through the phases. This eventually lead to a powerful surge over the try line for the first score, but the kick, however, was pushed wide, 5 – 0. After the restart, the Hurricanes again gave away simple penalties at the breakdown, which lead to more territory for the home side. From the resulting penalties came about five-metre line out after a great kick to touch in the wind. The line out was secured by the opposition and their forwards barrelled over for a second score, but the kick resulted in a similar fashion as the first conversion. At 10 – 0 up with ten minutes played the hosts looked comfortable.
The second score, however, seemed to stoke the fires of the Hurricanes and they hit back shortly after, with a score of their own, from a well worked forward play to get into the Ventnor 22. From here it was the hosts turn to infringe and following a quickly taken penalty by Ben Shannon, he made considerable yards to get to take the ball up to five-metre line. The ball was recycled and captain Liam Little shipped it blind to the overlap, yet, the ball was again stopped short. When the ball was presented at the back of the ruck, Shannon was found again and managed to take it over the try line this time around, riding three tackles in the process. The extras added by young Mitch Farrant, 10 – 7.
A second score came soon after, and it was Shannon again with a quick tap penalty to make good territory. At the next ruck, stand-off Owen Williams stepped in to play scrum-half and span a pass out to Shannon who had found the whitewash again breaking tackles in the process. Another try for Shannon and another conversion for Farrant mean that the Hurricanes had swung the scoreboard around, 10 – 14.
The final points of the half came from 2nd XV regular Sam Buckingham, adding to his score last week. Some strong work from the Sandown forwards, notably flanker Dan Sayers, the ball went through the Sandown & Shanklin hands nicely to find Bucko out wide, he then slipped past one defender and the fullback to dot down in the corner. The resulting conversion for Farrant was difficult but well placed and put the scores at 10 – 21 at the break.
Following the half time break the Hurricanes ringed the changes and freshened up the pack, this gave them a more stable scrum and a stronger line-out to challenge Ventnor’s strong setpiece. Sandown & Shanklin wasted no time in scoring again, spinning the ball from left to right and back again after successive rucks to find gaps in the tiring defensive line. This opened up the chance for Williams to skip through with his lightning feet and quick step to outstrip the defence and dash in for a score of his own. With Farrant leaving the field, Charles Little now on at right wing converted easily through a drop goal, 10 – 28.
With the fresher legs of the away side coming into effect the floodgates had opened for the Hurricanes as they quickly ran in successive tries. Firstly young centre Rob Newton getting two tries from around 30 metres out and showing impressive strength and pace to beat the Ventnor defence. The Hurricanes fifth try came to Sam Buckingham.
After some swift handling from the Sandown & Shanklin backs, the ball made it’s way to Buckingham who then stepped inside the last defender for his second score, 10 – 43.
The final scores for the Hurricanes was a real team effort, following some great running from Chris Skelley, Damian Seder, and Paul Laidler to set up good field position. Then Newton completed a second hat-trick of the season, this time sidestepping and handing off the Ventnor defence to dot down under the posts. This score surpassed his dad’s season tally of tries!
The visitors ended up earning a great away derby win, which sets them up nicely for the remaining fixtures of the season, heading into the end of February and a packed March and April. Next weekend will see the Hurricanes 2nd XV hosts Trojans RFC 3rd XV at the Fairway, all are welcome to come down and support the boys!